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Us 17, Iran 11, Israel 10, North Korea 9, U.s. 8, United States 7, Syria 6, U.n. 4, Washington 3, China 2, Ken 2, Assad 2, Richmond 2, C-span 2, Karl Marx 1, Obama 1, Ayatollah 1, Kennedy 1, Keith Richburg 1, Helms 1,
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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    February 20, 2013
    6:00 - 7:00am EST  

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not with respect to the nuclear program, but maybe as alleged with respect to other activities that would ease their mind a little bit and tell them we are prepared to do this as a way of conditioning the negotiations. but how about on your side? a few things on your side that would make some sense? on syria, i could not agree more that trying to solve syria in parallel with the iranian nuclear program -- and why not throw in arab-israeli peace, to begin with -- it's justified not to set a promise that i do not think anybody except in the worst nightmare would postulate that kind of scenario. one thing we could do less of for iran but may be more for russia, which seems to be at least aware of the fact that they -- assad, might have a
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short half-life is to move over the other side of the fence with brahimi. on our side, this is not a popular view, but to join in with preconditions to negotiations and drop them all, there's no good negotiation, in my view, that starts with the other side requiring it to give up as a consequence. that is not realistic. i do not know why we jump on that?
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it may have been seen as the one element necessary to keep the syrian obligation together what we tried to move in the other direction, but now that he has made his point of view, we have something of an open door. i would verily like to see, and i do not think the iranians would support it come about the humanitarian cease-fire based on the commitments in negotiations. i also have my own doubts as to whether a transitional government makes so much sense and whether we ought not to arrive to elections. the syrian election commission and the u.n. election commission might be a better way. we can argue for a year and a half about a commission and then have them. we have to get the annan plan somewhere in this mix and that is facilitated by elections but not resolved.
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those elements, in my view, seem important but i do not think you get them on our side. you could possibly get the russians and the chinese. it's worth looking at. it involves all the elements that are out there and it's going to be a very hard approach because no one will sit still for a ceasefire. how to deal with that is a very hard question. it seems to me that it is worth looking at. if you could find a way, maybe with russian and chinese pressure, to begin to diffuse some of their ability to throw hand grenades into the mix of this thing, that would be helpful, but i do not hold out a lot of hopes. >> it's a very interesting set of points. that was such a throw proposal, but i think need to worry about a call from the secretary general.
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if we look to iran softening their approach to the syrian conflict does something they could do to reassure the u.s. and the international community, it seems to be another clear implication of what you are saying is that the u.s. takes further steps to support the syrian opposition it would be read as strengthening their view that we are out to get them. >> we are out to get assad. are we ipso facto out to get iran? are we going to protect the allies, which is something i think we need to do despite the fact that they have a bad record? no one in syria has a sterling record, but it think we need to give them the opportunity to say there is a news syria forming. do they want to be engaged? what is the relationship there? i'm not very optimistic that we
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could get the iranians on board, but maybe you could find a way to make them increasingly less relevant. do they equate that with a regime change? maybe. we have to be aware of it. i think that's a stretch. i think the iranians could see, what i say is increasing value in the opportunity to talk if they begin to understand that the region is not moving totally in their direction all the time, which i think indeed is the case. >> it's a particular challenge given our domestic politics and the fact that there are those in our own system arguing for greater support for the syrian rebels because they believe in a weakening iran. why don't we open it up at this point for questions from the audience? we've got a lot of folks in the
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room and i'm going to try to get to as many of you as i can. two rules that are fundamental at brookings events. identify yourself. make it a singular question meeting and has a question mark at the end. let's start here in the second row. >> thanks. barbara from the atlantic council. the question to both of our distinguished speakers. what is going to take to get the ayatollah khamenei to agree on a one-on-one talk? he does now really rule it out. he hedges that the u.s. needs to be logical insure respect, etc. is there some magic solution to overcome this?
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or are we just going back to wait until iranian elections to get better put that on the table? >> why don't you try, ken? [laughter] >> first, i will answer your specific question. it if you want to be an expert, it's very easy because you need two phrases -- i don't know and it depends. this is one where that applies. i do not know where it's headed or and if it's even possible.
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theoretically as some threshold where he would be willing to do it, maybe there is no threshold. maybe it exists but it's not realistic for us to ever cross. again, it would realistically make it impossible. in my mind, i'm not convinced that the direct bilateral negotiations are necessary. i think there are a variety of ways to skin and this cat, and i do not think we should make the modalities the be all and end all. we should not argue over the size and shape of the table. if the iranians are comfortable in the p5 + 1, then i'm comfortable. they want bilateral, i'm comfortable there. it's going to be hard enough to get an agreement we can both agree on and to make the negotiations fruitful and have them proceed to the point where we can get an agreement. i would not want to save where we have to have a bilateral to make this work for we have to make it work, but by the same token, i would not say it has to
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be able grand bargain are just about the nuclear issue. we need to show flexibility. for me, that is why the focus on the end state, on thinking about the big picture is so important. we have to have in our mind, what is it that we're willing to except and what is unacceptable to us? i'm willing to pursue a whole variety of paths as long as they get us to that and state. the path that we take are much less interesting than getting there, because the industry is going to be hard enough. >> just maybe one or two other points. i think it's done a superb job and there's not much more i can do to polish that, but my feeling is he is entirely right. we should not let process be the sole determinant. the process on the other side, the p5 plus one, it has problems of personality and internal differences which are only reflected in the usg but could be easier to resolve their
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than here at the moment. second, we have to stick with what we've got and make the best use of it. the notion that the bilateral will be millennial, i think that's wrong. they're not sufficient in the end. even at the end of a very successful bilateral, you would want to go back and maybe then to the security council for some ratification and reinforcement because they are all engaged in this. i think that's important. we ought to be open-minded about the scope of negotiations. i think we should be single- minded about a determination to keep the negotiations process going even if it involves a few extra hours to try and set another time and place or a commitment, if you cannot get the other, that we will come
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together again fairly soon to move it ahead. we have to respect internal iranian processes, however much we may disparage. it is they want to have a new president in place before they undertake difficult negotiations, that is a significant sign that maybe if that process is passed we could get a little further. i do not think time is pushing us as rapidly as that. i think it's a good sign that the iranians continue to convert 20% material to metallic powder as opposed to keeping it in gaseous form. i am persuaded to give you a little bit of extra time and that's helpful. time, openness, ken's principles
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are all right in trying to deal with this. we should alter the process to suit our needs but it should not become the end all, be all of the problem. if i could take a shot at the turkey-brazil deal where the process of getting sanctions seem to be more important down the process of getting a preliminary agreement on what to do about some of iran's -- that was a missed opportunity. >> you raise the issue of calendars and schedules. i think it might be useful for this audience to talk a little bit about the window for diplomacy and what looks like this year. certainly, if we look at what we knew or what we think we know about the rates of enrichment, there were a lot of people saying that by this summer iran would be at a dangerous point in terms of how much more highly enriched uranium had
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acquired. you noted the presidential transition will not be over until the fall. do we need to worry about some of these international actors creating too much pressure on the process? is there a window that is fairly narrow "for beyond unilateral decisions to convert? there are other ways to keep the window open. >> if i were prime minister of israel, i would want to deal with this as soon as i could and i would want the u.s. to attack as rapidly as possible and i would want to stay as far out of it as i could. that is a moving set of timeline. my own sense is the more enriched our uranium they have, the more we have the right to be concerned because it provides for a larger, more rapid breakdown possibility. on the other hand, i don't know. it is like deciding what
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redlines we have to pass to disabuse them of the regime change idea. i don't know the answer to that question. i can see four separate pieces of time somehow bounded by the uncertainties of when we get to a critical amount of material. my own view is the much more critical question is if they take steps to indicate they are moving beyond 20%. since this is all happily under iaea supervision, i would not mind strengthening that, but i would also be very worried as they began to see more material coming out above 20%. i would be very worried if they dismissed the iaea and even more worried if they decided to get out of the treaty with north korea. with our time lines with
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interior iranian politics, i suppose the run-up to the election, the time when there reveal which candidates are in and out, i guess that is the council -- i always get it screwed up. i cannot keep track. during the elections, that will be a harder time. if they are aware of internal politics it will be harder. then after the election and before the inauguration, some argue that could be a window because there is, in effect, no president or a defacto president and then after the new president is in. over the last two years, we have seen what i would call the very clear, not complete growing power of the supreme leader and his decisions even with respect to ahmadinejad.
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i think he has been a powerful force in driving the supreme leader in that direction, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you want to see that kind of personal government operating in iran. >> we will take a few more down in front the weekend at the microphone down there. first row and then the third row. >> thanks very much. i write the mitchell report. i want to follow-up on a comment tamara made about how this has -- it may not rhyme but it echoes the israeli-palestinian situation. and those that because, in the final analysis, it's not clear to me there is anyone who can do a deal on the iranian side who is willing to do a deal. is the ayatollah on steroids?
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related to that, when we talk about doing a deal with the iranians, do we kid ourselves by making them plural? >> who is our interlocator? is it arafat? >> it begins and ends with to the iranians put forward. that is so you're stuck with unless you have more power inside iran than i can see. picking a negotiator has always been a very nice thought and, indeed, it has informed governments from time to time to believe one way or another they could cleverly maneuver that. i don't think it proved to be useful. the second question, you have to live with the government you have. if you feel they will make a deal you cannot deliver, you better be careful about that. on the other hand, if they can make a deal with you that you
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want, you have to decide between those two stark alternatives and what you are prepared to accept. i've never seen a government come to the negotiating table and make a deal that they turned down because they do not think the other side could deliver. it has always carried itself through in the next stage of making it happen. i think we're stuck with that kind of a format and those kinds of arrangements. >> i'm sorry. >> what i was really driving out was something that comes out of the small volume can wrote nine years ago in which he said -- ken wrote 9 years ago in which he determined there was no interest in having a relationship of any sort with the united states. that may be overstating it. it it's interesting who's around the table, but in the final analysis, the only guy who can
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say yes or no is the ayatollah and he has not been at the table. >> i will go back to the point that tom made, which i agree with, it's important at the negotiations because, they may work, and if they do it would be excellent. even if they do not work, they tell us a great deal about the situation we are in. i continue to be very skeptical that the ayatollah, many once a real relationship with us -- ayatollah khamenei wants a relationship. he does not have to like us to recognize it is in his interest to have a better relationship with the rest of the world, if not with us.
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if he's willing to do what we need him to do, some version of a deal, and a timeline outlining, i'm perfectly content to deal with it. in terms of whether or not they will live up to it, my sense of the iranians is that they are not going to agree to something and they're not actually willing to go ahead with it. they do not seem to be the north koreans who will make a deal and immediately reneged on it. the iranians continue to stiff the iaea as opposed to the north koreans to tell them whatever the heck they want and the moment they it left, they do what they want. that says something different about the iranians. at the end of the day, the last piece of this, which is critical, is the fact that what has to happen for this deal to work for us is very extensive, very intrusive monitoring and inspection. if they are not willing to go along with it, the deal comes apart immediately. if they do, that tells us and they're willing to abide.
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we do not have to trust them to do the right then. >> can i make three quick points? we put a lot of pressure on them to make a deal. we know the drinking poison statement at the end of the iraq-iran war, secondly they do not have to become our best friends. obviously that's a more difficult problem, as the question goes ahead. it's something that we do not have to count on in many ways. it would be nice, but i don't think it's necessarily the way in which things have to develop. those two pieces are important. the third is that we have had deals in the past. more or less, we have stuck with them.
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in fact, there have been occasions under which, despite hints conclusions, but i do not support them, but i reductor read his book again to make sure i'm correct in my non-support of his ideas, but this is not something that is so completely strange. finally, the point about north korea and iran is interesting. the comparison to the arab- israeli question is interesting. the major point of comparison as we all know what the deal could look like. since we are not in ronny hands, we believe it is perfectly splendid because it is a win-win for both sides. secondly, we all believe is the personalities and their differences, their internal arguments, their internal concerns that keep them from making the deal at the table.
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the third point, i think, is an interesting one. sometimes, i still make the point that there is a third issue about the arab-israeli peace process. the only thing harder than getting an agreement between the arabs and the israelis is to figure out a way for the process to go away completely, finally, and never to return. >> a very good point. i think what we will do since there are a lot of hands up as we will take a couple of questions at a time and then we will come back out. >> and got to the hard ones. >> keep your questions as brief as you can -- and dodge the hard ones. >> mr. pollack, the talk about the iranian's need to trust the u.s., that they will not help overthrow the iranian government. use a holding meetings with o the with appearsf mek -- with members of the mek.
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would that convince the iranian regime that this will also be to their benefit or not? >> again, our own divided government, how does it affect the equation? let's go right here. >> thank you. in my dealing with the iranians, they care more about the matter principle. if you want to have a deal, you have to acknowledge their rights. technology and their rights means that there remember of the committee and they're able to do whatever is needed. i would claim that if you want to have a deal, you have to a knowledge at the beginning that
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they have rights. then, my understanding is that lots of things can happen. the last thing i think is interesting in iran is that we were ready to suspend it in richmond for one hour. there's the possibility of mediation, but you have to give them their rights. i would like to ask the question. first of all, what can you do here in the u.s. to promote the idea that somehow we have to of knowledge their rights. this can be perceived as a defeat. i think it is a necessary defeat. then, the point is how then can year we address the issue of the sanctions anyway which is progressive, step-by-step? i think if you do this, then the issue of a regime change
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would be, in a sense, secondary. this would prove that the authority is respected and this would induce the idea that the regime change is not such a big deal. for americans, how can you make the political system here acknowledge their former -- their basic rights? >> for those of you who were not able to hear, it was another question about how american domestic politics relate to the initiation and if it's possible to form political consensus in the u.s. that on with the iranians view as their clear right and their minimum for a deal including the right to enrich, which both of you addressed a bit in our
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discussion earlier, but the domestic politics year, for the united states, they are not simple. how do we tackle this. this is something, one of the reasons why you have been doing a lot of this work. >> the mek was a bad decision, a dumb idea. it was presumably don for lots of extraneous reasons to iran. we now have another barrier to cross with the supreme leader. only through conversations and then actions can you get there. it's the same problem as having vice-president biden in munich talking about tightening of sanctions. we need more syncopation or more appreciation of the interrelationships. on the right to enrich, i'm perfectly happy to do it. not that the u.s., by any stretch of the imagination, is the authority that of the rise
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of the right to enrich under anything else. it's an exercise in the legitimate and grandiosity. if that's what they want, we should be able to say it. our problem is that they are not in good standing with the iaea yet. while, that's a diversionary problem, what they did in 2003, i hope they would not do that again. they would like to have a truth commission on that and get it out of the way, but it's not a primary question to the results for the future so much it is to clean up the past the little bit, like sweeping up after the horses in the memorial day parade, it's got to be done. it's a cloud over the right to and rich in terms of standing. how do we deal with the security council?
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the notion that iran can pick and choose it security council resolutions is not a happy notion. it is not of the character, i suppose, in the threat of a regime change but it has some of the same kind of nonchalance about what mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable that the iranians also need to realize as they go into negotiations that there are two sides to the issue. one side and shrines there great morale and moral principles house and necessary to kowtow to them in order to begin the process, but we would have the right on our side to expect something equal, reciprocal, and opposite. toomey, neither of these preconditions make a lot of sense, but i would be very happy to say, if we have a deal and your civilian program is going ahead, we of course recognize
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your right to have a civil nuclear program. dominate to do now is to define that program. once they're over the hurdle of no enrichment or some enrichment, we're over the hurdle of being able to do that. as it can points out, we may not yet be over that particular hurdle. -- as ken points out, we may not yet over that period or some people are willing to sell that hurdle. >> i think you have me confused with someone else. maybe the other pollack in town. on the issue of trust and regime change, it's a little different than what you expressed. i'm not sure we will ever be able to get the khamenei to trust us. it that's the case, one of two things will happen.
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i'm willing to do something to convince some of that, but as tom keep suggesting, it's an important one. the problems are not all on the u.s., but there are equal or greater problems on the iranian side. we do not need to be twisting ourselves into pretzels and expect them to do nothing. either we do not get a deal if they do not trust us, ok. that's a shame. it would be awful, but at least we have some clarity. that clarity is important and sorely lacking. alternatively, it may be that the iranians, the supreme leader will realize that if he is afraid of a regime change, the smartest thing you can do is to make a deal because the sanctions are crippling iran. their breeding enormous internal discontent and creating an atmosphere where there are a lot of groups who are unhappy and a lot of people outside looking in saying the sanctions have not succeeded in convincing the iranians, so what is the next thing we can do?
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the regime changes the next obvious thing. if they are willing to make a deal, it seems they are hell bent to get this capability, then by god we have to get rid of this regime. if khamenei was smart, if he was concerned about the regime change, this should be the smartest thing he could do. it's essential for him to do so. >> i think tom's points are excellent. what's important for us is, i think the united states is going back to recognize that if we're going have to get this deal with iran, we're going to have to let them crow about it. they're going have to be able to declare victory, which and the importance element coming from your point about principle. i'd hate to get into some kind of a fight where american and iranian politicians heard the deal because both sides want to claim victory and that the other side lost. it the american administration is going have to say, we both
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won. it has to be win-win. we have to let them announce to the world that they did succeed in defending their rights. you know what? that's what they need? fine. i want to make sure we have a limit on the program so that they cannot move beyond what they have. >> ok, let's take a question in the very back corner there. then right in front of him. >> why do we care so much about iran and not more about north korea? [laughter] >> pass the microphone to the gentleman in front of you. >> edward levine, retired staff from the senate foreign relations committee. i wonder with the indications are, if any, for iran and the process of the secretary general's comments to the
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washington post last week. >> two good, model questions in terms of their brevity. the question also raises the issue of proliferation in the region. one reason the obama administration says the iranian nuclear capability is such a threat is because it would cascade to proliferation around the middle east, but love it if you could address that as well. >> i will answer the questions posed very quickly. i am just a dot middle east expert. this session on iran is talking about iran, but i have a great deal of sympathy for the sentiment. i do believe north korea is a
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very big problem. we often have the debate if iran is irrational. from what i understand about north korea, you could barely fill a symbol. my sense is they are not always entirely rational either and there are some things going on in that regime that could lead them to do things that are irrational and that worries me enormously. the issue of proliferation gets to north korea as well. proliferation is a very big concern about iran's nuclearization. it is one reason i suggested it's better that if we do not have to continue going down this road and if they never crossed the with the position threshold -- teh weaponization threshold. there is a hysteria on both sides. yes, proliferation is a very real problem. by the same token, i do not expect the entire region will go nuclear the day after they proliferate. saudi arabia is by far the biggest problem.
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they're very fearful of the iranians and they have a whole list of the rationale for why it makes sense for them to have a nuclear capability the day after. that said, even within saudi arabia, there are disincentives and all kinds of things that they can do. i have an arrangement with the pakistan a. they can proliferate opaquely or do things to make people wonder if they have acquired the capability without crossing the threshold. they're very clever about this type of thing. we do not give them enough credit. in the 1980's we antimissile wars between iran and iraq. everyone wanted ballistic missiles. the saudis go out very quietly and they buy nuclear capable chinese missiles. nobody knows whether they got a nuclear warhead. most of us believe the probably
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did not, but they never answered the question. they assured us by making warm and fuzzy noises, but they never said categorically that the would not do so. that ambiguity is very important. the uae has their own reasons, but who knows. turkey? certainly some risk there, but there nato membership is very big. egypt i think is the worst case. egyptians have a lot of other problems on their plate. if they did not proliferate because of israel, it seems they would be unlikely to do so because of a rock. proliferation absolutely is an issue. it's a very big issue. it's one reason why it would be much better that the iranians never acquire this capability. by the same token, we should not push that too far and suddenly assume the entire region will explode into nuclear proliferation, the crisis, and a war thereafter. president kennedy famous a
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predicted we would live in a war of 25 nuclear -- a world of 25 nuclear states and it still a lot has come to pass. there are strong disincentives, but to go about your starting point, proliferation as a problem especially when it comes to countries like north korea. >> of the north korea-iran question, i am concerned about the dichotomy of feeling. north korea has a different set of relationships. as i mentioned earlier, they have enormous capability to do very serious damage without the use of nuclear weapons to south korea. that would be a huge mess. it lives next to a very large country that looks at north korea as a buffer arrangement which keeps coming for the moment, of style, semi house style, or potentially
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antagonistic, or even just friendly -- hostile, semi- hostile, or potentially antagonistic people at their border. we do not have enough conversation with the chinese over the future of the peninsula and i think there are a few important steps to be made. we're not yet where we are in syria. thank god. but we are not yet where we are in syria into terms of the conversations they will have to deal with inevitable change in the future. however, if that happens, i cannot see the supreme leader being radically comfortable with the notion that the wonderful regime in p'yongyang is no more. and that there is some new perhaps more benign, more helpful, more united korea in
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the future which i think we are all pledged to without being specific about what the overall formation might be like. be careful what you wish for. it has unintended potential consequences that need to be looked at very carefully. the second point on proliferation, i agree with ken. and perhaps him a little more concerned that were iran to go, the impulse would increase. one only has to see in the last two years the sudden interest in civil nuclear power programs in some of the oil-rich and non- oil-rich nations of the region to be concerned, but it's a great idea for us to get the 123 agreement with them to try to nail it down. i think it's a very interesting question out there that has pros and cons of significance. should we begin to find a way to strengthen the kind of
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security assistance and assurances we're prepared to provide under the npt to states that might, in the future, be threatened, but are not now, and how and in what way should we deploy that? it would have, in my view, for the right agreement with iran some potential, even if it is seemingly millenial now. but we have to be careful. we have seen in the neighborhood a problem for iran, at least with respect to whether nuclear steps. is iran, in fact, responding? a country that does not admit they have any interest creating weapons is a hard country to pin down why they might want them. is there a role in the united
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states for strengthening those assurances? or are we now so close to the new idea of containment that is basically seemingly to permit iran to go nuclear and then deal with the aftermath through deterrence and other relationships that we are now blocked from adopting elements that might otherwise be useful but could be seen or misinterpreted as to swing, pivot to marie balance toward containment? these are all questions that are out there that need to be a part of the dialogue and about which i think there are no really rapidly available have the answers. -- happy answers. >> the u.n. secretary general has had a happy time of it. he went to tehran and met with the supreme leader but then made some very critical comments. how is he trying to position himself here? >> he is simply trying position himself strongly in favor nonproliferation regardless of the need in his part to stay in touch with all member states. he has donned a ways to step over that bridge without having 1 foot stop on either side. so far, ok. >> this is just a balancing act? >> he can disagree with the member states who seemingly are acting against -- how many members are there? 190 something?
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194 members in the u.n., so it's a very universal agreement. >> i think we have time for one more very quick round. in the center here, the gentleman in the tan jacket. and then the lady two rows behind you. >> visiting professor of israeli politics at george washington. strangely enough, have a question about how israel fits
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into this. president obama will be visiting israel very soon. we talk about the 20% in richmond deal. the conversation hinges on the other side of that, the credibility of the united states if a deal does not go along the lines of using military force. the big deal is to do with the trigger. what would trigger that? i'd like to hear your opinions on the visit and what you think of that debate. >> thank you very much. >> recent graduate of johns hopkins. thank you for being here. i have 1 million questions but i will stick to one and it has to do with power players. the current government is very right wing. every government has talks. of these factions and other factions engaged in nuclear energy or isolated with nuclear weapons?
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what does the next possible generation of power players feel about this if we assume that a regime change does not happen? and that assumes, if we get one, in new ayatollah. >> even more brutal hypocrisies have domestic politics. >> why don't they start? i will take those in reverse order. these are huge, multiple questions and i wish we had more time to really deal with them. to ask about iranian politics going forward, i don't know and it depends. it's important to remember that because we have such limits on their understanding of iran. what's more, iranian politics are such that it's very hard to know which direction they're going to develop in, especially when you start projecting into the future beyond this supreme leader.
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i come back to a point that, made that i will echo. i don't know what the answer to it is, but i think we have to find out. part of what we need to be doing is trying to show the iranians that there is a path whereby they can obtain at least they're minimal objectives, as long as they do not include things like trying to destroy the united states of america, israel, saudi arabia, other friends of ours. then they can obtain their minimal objectives through its half of compromise and negotiating settlements in these disputes. i don't know whether that's possible, but it think it's critical the united states explore that and we put on the table a deal that the iranians ought to be able to accept because it is consistent with at least their declared statements. that will at least give us some insight. it's a pleasure to meet you. i'm a great admirer of your work. i wish i had time to explain it. i will talk with you outside. i think a good barack had it
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right. -- ehud had it right. israel entered that zone. it is not to say that they did not have a military option. it is simply to say their military operation, which was always going to be difficult, has become much more so. that military option will persist until iran feels an arsenal. as far as i'm concerned, as long as they don't feel an arsenal, the israeli trigger is elastic. they can go tomorrow, two years from tomorrow, as long as they have not cleared the arsenal. and does that affect their ability to do what damage they can. ultimately their ability to do that damage is limited. it's the same for the united states. as long as the mops can clean it up, pardon the pun, of we have until they feel the weapon and that means we have quite a bit of time. that's not to say they will have a problem with what the government is doing. while i always do not like the way the israeli government does it, i recognize israel has
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played a very important role in keeping international focus on iran. had they not done that over the last 10 years, the world would have forgotten about them along time ago and we would be living with a nuclear iraq. >> it suggests one trigger may be the removal of material. >> let me do the two questions in the same order. ken's right. in simple terms, a proposal on the table to iran, which essentially does what iran continues to claim that it once -- wants, is not capitulation in my view.
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it's something we can live with particularly if we both agreed, as we do, on the value of inspections and the strengthening of the inspection system. let me leave it there. following the various courses of action and trying to decide who is on top of where is an eminently respectable and extremely valuable profession. the real problem is that it has not given us those scintillating measures about the insight that would help us in the negotiating process and a way to get it through. it has moved as in the direction in which i think ken and i agree that we have put something on the table that we think has a reasonable chance of succeeding if which protect our important interest and which, in fact,
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gets us close to meeting what they continually say they want. if they don't take what they want, then we have a different problem and we need to look at it quickly. that takes us to israel. this little book came to the conclusion that, as of this summer, the zones of impunity, community, whatever, aside, israel had a capacity probably in the neighborhood of the delay of the iranian program for two years and in the last four years, maybe a little more. they're related to different styles of attack, different capacities, different times for the duration of an attack and everything else. none of them, in any book i've ever read it, short of a permanent occupation on the ground has the capacity to stop forever. so the first thing we have is the military is a temporary solution. the notion that maybe something will turn up is a temporary solution with a lot of very
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serious drawbacks and that's one reason why it's on the table but not rapidly being used. from what the president has said, without his accepting the challenge to draw his red line in specific time-bound times, he is basically saying that if iran is going ahead to make a nuclear weapon, we think we would know about it, and i think there are reasons to believe that, then he would be prepared to use military force. he did not say he would use military force first. there may well be. he would want to do before military force depending on judgments about time. they all relate to the questions to which you know, when you know, and how you are prepared to take advantage. he has rejected pretty well the notion that, as israel the ostensibly lose his capability to achieve the two years or
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begins to lose capability to get to two years, from his point of view, that is not a reasonable comer rational -- reasonable, rational trigger on behalf of the united states. he's made that very clear. the prime minister expect that -- accepted that in his u.n. speech where he put that time delay in. we are now facing the end of a nominal delay. are we again going to argue about time and military force and when to use it? i have no idea. a lot will depend on the visit. i'm delighted the visit is taking place. as you know, i was ambassador to israel. it was a logical and important first step taken something that i believe was missing from the equation which should have been there early. but i'm delighted it's taking place now and it presents another opportunity, not to
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resolve all problems and difficulties, but clearly to see the kind of tenuous and motives we have to not be continued. on the time side, there is, one, a clear commitment against a weapon. on the other side, there's no clear commitment that this has to take place by a date certain. this seems to be the essence of the deal at a certain time. my feeling is that helpful and will continue to hold things. frequent forays into aggressive military stances without reducing -- producing a result is like a frequent predictions that the bomb will be in their hands next year. each one of these has been right only in so far that and has been repeated on a regular basis. let me leave it there. >> ladies and gentlemen, please join me in thanking tom pickering and ken pollack for this fantastic discussion.
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we will see you next week. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> all this week, but tv is a
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program -- prime time on c-span to. tonight a look at love wars and biographies. at 8:00 eastern, supreme court justice sonia sotomayor. richard helms after that. "book tv" in prime-time all this week on c-span 2. live today on c-span, in a moment, presidential scholars panel. after that a conference of presidential leadership styles.
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>> the communism of china is communism in name only and preserve the powers of the members of the communist power. basically through ideology aside when he opened the country up and has become a capitalist haven. communism now in china, they talk a great leap, but as i said, all about preserving the party power economically as the country continues to grow, because they threw aside most vestiges of communism along time ago. in north korea it is all about preserving the power of the military in the kim dynasty. again, it really has nothing to do with what karl marx envisioned as communism way back. it is fascinating on how communism, would it moves into asia diverged into something
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different in vietnam. that the content -- communism appeared in the eastern european countries. keith richburg sunday on "q &a." >> in a moment, washington"journal." john kerry will speak at the university of virginia. then, for a department at the council of foreign relations to discuss conflict resolution. and in 45 minutes, the government accountability office talks about government operations at risk for waste, fraud, misuse and mismanagement. bloomberg tv examines the tough issues in washington politics. including

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